Military conflicts, as a cause of World Hunger.
On this website, you will be able to find a lot of articles, regarding reasons for continuous World Hunger, such as global economy, egoistic activities of corporations and financial groups, as well as local problems within societies.
However, the major obstacle, which have been a source of trouble for countless years, are military conflicts. Many times in the past, to acquire advantage on the battlefield, people would create hunger and humanitarian crisis at their enemy’s territory. This sort of behaviour was also used to force the other side to accept new political decisions, to gain particular benefits or to punish society. Ukrainian 'Holodomor' (man-made famine) is a good example for that.
In our mind, we often hold a stereotype that hunger in Africa and Asia is caused by drought and poor economy. The truth is that it’s often political conflicts that lead to wars, what then starts humanitarian crisis. Where there is little food and aid within the region, people get angry and new conflicts arise. Finally, they end up with devastated economy and hunger.
In 2011, Food and Agriculture Organization compiled the list of 18 African countries, in which hunger occurs the most. 8 of them were currently at war. And war is costly. If huge amounts of money are put into funding military conflicts, country’s budget gets drained and there’s nothing left for development of economy. Also, young men get enlisted to army, so they’re not able to work for society. War brings human migration as well, because families often have to abandon their farms to escape it, looking for safe place to live. Those farms get robbed and then destroyed by invaders.
Even when a conflict is over, communities suffer from its effects long time after. For example, there are millions of mines, that have not been discarded yet. It makes everyday life of people in those areas, terrifying. In Mozambique, they’ve estimated the number of mines to be 1 – 2 million, while in Angola, up to 15 million.
The right to be able to get food is also used in developing countries, as a tool for successful political campaigns. In 2005, during elections in Zimbabwe, a leading political party has sent large transport of corn to a region affected by drought. It was only their supporters, who could buy it for normal price, everybody else paid double.
War brings catastrophic results and it is a cause of thousands people having to face hunger. In Angola, Ethiopia and Eritrea armed conflicts has led not only to huge delays in food production, but also to suspending a trade network. It has completely disabled food distribution.
According to United Nations Integrated Regional Information Network, in 2005, around million or Eritreans had to face hunger, while 300 000 of their men were called to army. Long term effects of that are: undeveloped, poor political systems, overwhelming corruption, collapse of economy and in some cases – total ‘disappearance’ of national money (Somalia, Angola).
Anger and constant agitation become everyday feelings for people living in those African nations. A lot of them go through psychological breakdowns, what results in a strong need to fight for their rights using force.
As mentioned before, there is a connection between hunger and striving for political advantages. It often happens in countries, where there is enough food, but hunger still persists. Between 1990 and 1992, thousands of people in Southern Sudan, had to cope with unthinkable hunger, as they haven’t
had enough money to pay for food. Prices were purposely increased to eliminate certain parts of society.
On the other hand, in Kenya, people who do not have to worry about food supplies, are the ones, who live in towns where rebellion is most likely to be started.
It is important to remember that hunger is also a tool in global politics. Providing humanitarian aid by Western societies is commonly used as a cover up for attempts to take control over particular regions. Food transports are being sent mainly to countries that are well-situated and can bring benefits to large corporations. We have all heard about armed operations, that were meant to fight terrorism, but they turned out to be aimed at creating 737 USA military bases across 130 countries. The objective was to enable easy access to oilfields. Soon, a quarter of USA's oil will be coming from Africa.
In conclusion, it is worth to have a think, whether the interest in helping developing countries is as altruistic, as media tell us.
Article based on the research of Agnieszka Miglin.